HCA Discusses Regulatory Flexibilities with DOH 

Situation Report | December 21, 2020

HCA recently met with the state Department of Health (DOH) on regulatory relief needs, including the requirements for annual health assessments and annual in-service aide training.

DOH reiterated that nurses can conduct the annual assessment and, in a development that occurred after our meeting, finalized an HCA-supported rule to replace the annual tuberculosis (TB) testing requirement with an annual individual risk assessment and education. (See related article here).

HCA also emphasized needed flexibility on the requirement for annual home health aide (HHA) and personal care aide (PCA) in-service training during the COVID-19 pandemic.

DOH is exercising “enforcement discretion” on HHA annual training requirements (12 hours) until the first quarter following the end of the State Disaster Emergency or the expiration of Executive Order 202, whichever comes earlier. However, it is only exercising enforcement discretion for the three hours of annual PCA training due for the period January to June 2020. Therefore, DOH is still requiring PCAs to receive three hours of in-service training for July to December 2020.

HCA is supporting a delay on the in-service training requirement for HHAs and PCAs, rather than leaving it to DOH enforcement discretion for certain time periods.

DOH is considering this request and HCA will keep members informed.

HCA is also reviewing other regulatory flexibility measures granted by DOH to ensure that they are extended and seeks input from members on additional areas to be addressed.